Hebe Haven Nauti-Buoys calendar proves popular all year round

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2012, 4:13am

A boatload of Hong Kong yachtsmen have gone overboard to help a charity drive - by stripping down to bare essentials in a cheeky calendar.

Twenty-five members of the Hebe Haven Yacht Club took it all off for the Nauti-Buoys calendar, launched last weekend at the club's annual 24-Hour Charity Dinghy Race.

They stopped short of revealing all by using well-placed nautical props.

The calendar, which was dreamed up by four female members of the Sai Kung club who took inspiration from the 2003 movie Calendar Girls, has already raised more than HK$45,000 for a variety of children's, health and education charities.

Calendar Girls told the real-life story of members of a Women's Institute in a sleepy English village who posed naked to raise money for a cancer hospital.

Teacher Stephanie Hestler, one of those behind the calendar, said the women wanted to do something special for the 10th anniversary of the 24-Hour Charity Dinghy Race.

"Once the men realised that they would be doing it for charity, it was scarily easy to get them to take off their clothes," Hestler said.

The models, ranging in age from 30 to 72, were snapped in the buff at various locations around the club - including in boats and behind the bar - by club member and photographer Jackie Peers.

Hestler said the end result was a 15-month calendar of photographs that ranged from "mild to slightly risqué".

"It's tasteful," she said. "We were very conscious of making it something you could hang up in the kitchen and not put anyone off their food. I think quite a few will be Christmas presents."

The final shot for December 2013 features club member Fiona Price, Hestler and the two others behind the scheme. "We thought it wasn't fair to ask the men to do something we wouldn't do," Hestler said.

"The reaction has been brilliant. We printed 1,000 copies, with very generous sponsorship from Laithwaites Wines, which means every cent goes to the club's four chosen charities."

The Nauti-Buoys are not the first Hongkongers to take inspiration from Calendar Girls. In 2005, nine members of the Hong Kong Women in Publishing Society appeared almost naked in a poster promoting an anthology of their writing.